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Australians gamble more per capita than any nation in the world. Anything you can think of, you can bet on. While other countries are taking massive steps towards dealing with gambling related issues, our Government’s sit on their hands doing nothing. The City of Monash has a proud record of speaking out against this scourge on society. It does real harm to vulnerable people and families.

I’m also sick of being inundated with gambling advertising. It’s everywhere you go; on television, in the papers, online, at sporting events, on public transport - the list goes on. 

When is enough enough, and when are our Government’s going to act in the best interests of its citizens instead of worrying about party donations?

Pokies Play You
Everyone knows that Basil & Macrina make amazing coffee (it’s my regular stop off on the way to Council), but did you know they make a terrific breakfast and delicious strawberry milkshakes? They’re also open on Sundays!

Every Friday night we get our Fish ‘n Chips at Macrina Fish & Chips just a few shops down as well. With Tarantino's Pizzeria and a local IGA, Macrina Street is the definition of a thriving local shopping centre

Check it out and #SupportLocal
Do you remember the ”little miss” books from when you were a kid? We’ve just bought the set and the children are hooked. I love reliving my childhood 👊
The kids wanted to plant fruit and veggies, so out came the old rose bushes and in went carrots, lettuce, strawberries, bok choy, cucumber and corn. Now they need to learn how to tend to them 😀
Today I wrote to my counterparts at East Gippsland Shire Council, Mansfield Shire Council, Wellington Shire Council, Rural City of Wangaratta, Towong Shire Council and Alpine Shire Council to offer the thoughts and sympathies of Monash Council and it’s residents

These are unprecedented times with extraordinarily devastating results. The City of Monash stands shoulder to shoulder with our friends from around the state and remain willing to assist in whatever way we can

If you’d like to contribute in some way, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can : https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/News/Where-to-donate-for-bushfire-relief
It might be New Years Eve but the weather is brilliant for letterboxing. Zoe started out okay but she became a little bit tired so ended up on Daddy’s head 🤣

Happy New Year to you all. Be safe and don’t drive!
Zoe is a little addicted fo Neil Diamond. Whenever I wear jeans she runs off and grabs hers and sings “As long as I can have you here with me I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans, babe!”
Works are progressing quickly on the $25 million redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre. The frame is up and by mid-March we’ll be touring the site. This is the biggest single infrastructure project the City of Monash has ever undertaken. Can’t wait for it to be completed!
This is not okay....
Summer fun #BoxingDayTest
Let’s be honest; no one can be bothered cooking on Boxing Day and Ferrari Pizza are open all throughout the holiday period. They’ve been making delicious pizzas for as long as I can remember and the toppings are always generous. I worked on Lygon Street for 12 years and none of those shops made pizzas that matched up to Ferrari

Their obsession with the Richmond FC is a little disappointing, but no-one’s perfect. My wife isn’t a massive pizza fan but tells me their pasta is a hit as well. You only have to move off the couch to open the door; 9569 0910
#Evidence
Merry Christmas everyone

Thank-you to all those who have, and are, working today. Our emergency services (police, fire, ambulance and SES volunteers) but also all those who are seldom acknowledged; our magnicant City of Monash waste team (who were emptying bins first thing this morning), our train, tram, bus and taxi drivers, our hospoitality workers, the service station attendants, the medical professionals on-call, the IT support team - the list goes on

It's going to be a massive year next year, and I can't wait!!
You’re probably wondering why I took a photo of a footpath. Well, it’s because it didn’t exist six months ago. It may seem like a rather uninspiring post, but this footpath means that parents with prams, children on bikes and elderly people with walkers, to name a few, no longer have to walk down the middle of the road

It’s the little things #PrincessStreet #Oakleigh
I’ve been buying Aesthéte Home scented candles for years from Inchmeal. They’re scattered all around my house. Last week at the Christmas market I was excited to run in to Jacqui, the amazing person who’s been making them for me. Thank you for making my house smell amazing every time I walk in the door!
It’s that time of the year where Christmas parties are in full swing. On the weekend I took the family to the Winifred Street gathering. There’s a few of these street parties around Oakleigh and I always have such an enjoyable time having a quiet drink with passionate local residents who love where they live. A terrific day once again!

If you’re interested in getting your neighbours together and having an event, Monash has grants available; https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Awards-Grants/Meet-Your-Street-Grants
Croquet. I remember playing in my grandfathers backyard as a youngster. You can imagine my excitement when I found out that Monash had their very own club, so I went down to check it out and I’m hooked again

Located in Electra Reserve, Ashwood, they play socially at 9am Tuesdays and Saturday’s and from 6pm on Wednesday’s. Give it a go, you’re be surprised how fun it can be. Contact Kaye on 0403 160 340
The Inchmeal Christmas is on until 3pm today in Westerfield Drive, Notting Hill. Amazing stalls and beautiful home made gifts and wares, not to mention the amazing coffee. Pop on down for a wander and #SupportLocal
Magical indeed, and well worth a visit - At Caulfield Racecourse until the end of the year
If there’s two things Greek’s are known for, it’s their food and singing. Great afternoon joining the Faros Greek Senior group for their Christmas breakup earlier this week
Great to join with parents, teachers and Meng Heang Tak MP at Oakleigh South Primary School to officially launch the new robotics facility which was one of the winners of the local ‘Pick my project’ grants. Amazing to see the smiles of kids faces as they showcased some of their amazing projects

Times have changed since I played Carmen Sandiego on the Apple IIe in grade six 🤣
Yesterday we opened the new play space at Evelyn Street in Clayton. It came about after a number of residents campaigned for its upgrade. In the 2019/2020 budget my bid for these funds went through and this is the result. The two main play pieces take the form of an ant. What perfect way to round out a very busy year.

Enjoy!
We’re listening, and here until 6pm.

Today we’re down at the opening of another playground, Evelyn Street Clayton. I had numerous residents campaigning for this to be done and as a result of a budget bid - here it is.

Come down and say hello!
The band is warming up backstage while Bethany Fisher Music entertains the biggest crowd we’ve ever had at the Monash Carols by Candlelight; latest estimations are 30,000 - Wow!
The scene is set.... looking forward to tonight’s Monash Carol’s by Candlelight 😍
Last week it was the Friends of Damper Creek Christmas party, this week it was the Friends of Scotchman’s Creek. Two fantastic groups looking after our native land. A visit to Valley Reserve is like escaping to a beautiful oasis. You have no idea you’re in the middle of suburbia. How lucky are we?
Another brilliant turnout for the annual Carols in Park in Oakleigh. I hate to single out any one group, but the dance moves from Amsleigh Park Primary were something else. Well done to all the schools and churches who put the event together

If you still haven’t bought yourself a real Christmas tree 🎄 head down to OC Connections on Warrigal Road

And don’t forget the massive Monash Carols at Jells Park on Sunday from 6pm finishing with fireworks at 10pm
Yesterday Year 8 students at Avila College spent the morning learning about what Council does and the services we provide. I was incredibly excited to join them for a wrap up and answer some gruelling questions on various topics including recycling, challenges with being Mayor, why I decided to run for Council and how they can become further involved

Our future is in good hands!
It’s that time of the year again. Tradition says Christmas trees shouldn’t be put up until the 1st of December. Well, my kids couldn’t wait so we made our annual trip to OC Connections on Warrigal Road

Pop down and grab yours and support this amazing organisation helping those with disabilities
We are blessed in Monash with two amazing natural wildlife areas in Scotchman’s and Dampers Creek. We’re also lucky to have two amazing groups that dedicate their time to preserving them. Today I joined the Friends of Damper Creek for their annual Christmas BBQ to say thankyou on behalf of the city for the amazing work they do 😍
Amazing morning at the Mini Maker Faire, an initiative of the City of Monash’s Economic Development team in collaboration with Monash University and the State Government

Autonomous vehicles, robots, satellite operated vehicles. I might look a little silly, but the virtual reality equipment I was using is also used by NASA to train astronauts. When this picture was taken, I was in the middle of fixing some wiring on a satellite in space
Now that I’ve become Mayor, the area I look after has become just a tad bigger. It was great to get out and meet our Mount Waverley residents at Hamilton Place
It’s not really on the main drag, but you should definitely pop past WithOneBean Coffee in a Regent Street Oakleigh (just near the corner of Burlington). Their coffee is absolutely delicious and they’re a not-for-profit organisation who do fabulous work supporting farmers in Timor-Leste. They’re also completely carbon neutral and sell offsets to other companies

Did you know that the coffee many shops source, the coffee you probably drink, is bought for almost nothing? Only 40.4% of coffee growers have adequate toilet facilities, 42.9% have dirt floors and only 55.7% have access to electricity, well short of averages across Timor-Leste

Pop down, have one of their amazing coffees and find out more about what they do - I’m sure you’ll be amazed!
Cracking evening at the Hughesdale Kindergarten fundraiser. Despite six attempts I was unable to locate the correct pin code for this wheelbarrow of adult goodies, which was probably a win for my liver

This is one of the most popular and successful kinders in the City of Monash and it’s easy to see why; amazing facilities with heaps of outdoor space, and a hardworking parent committee running the centre. If you’re looking for a kinder, it’s hard to go past this one!
Looking to get the jump on Christmas? Make your way down to the Community Market at 5 Fleet Street Mount Waverley, running tonight until 7:30pm. Plenty of locally made gifts and wares available #SupportLocal
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas....
Today is international day for the elimination of violence against women. In Australia, one woman dies every week at the hands of a former or current partner, one in three women experience physical or sexual assault and a staggering 85% of women have been sexually harassed

This has to stop!

We are a long way from where we need to be as a society. The City of Monash says no to all forms of domestic violence. If you see it occurring, call it out and report it
Eaton Mall at 6:30pm on Sunday evening - barely a spare seat and the atmosphere is amazing

Love where I live #ThisIsMonash
Finally - Summer has arrived. April asked where fruit and vegetables came from. I figured that was a great opportunity to plant our own. Looking forward to eating these carrots, beans, strawberries and chilli’s
Huge turnout today for the Legend Park Preschool fun day. A jumping castle, cakes, raffles and very addictive fresh popcorn 😋
The City of Monash shares a close friendship with Victoria Police in working with the community to address concerns and develop meaningful relationships

Today I was proud as punch to be present to see Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir award two of our local Oakleigh Police members, Elizabeth Sidropoulos and Wayne Elston, with their 30 year service clasps

Like Council, Police often cop a whack in the media because of the actions of a few bad eggs, but on the whole they do an amazing job in protecting and serving our community with distinction

Congratulations to Elizabeth, Wayne and all the other outstanding Police members who were acknowledged today from the eastern region
There’s nothing quite like a freshly cooked Pizza, although my wife would disagree. Stoked that the girls are on board though. I’ve been visiting Jesse’s for years and I’m never disappointed. They’re located on North Road, just down from Warrigal. Yuuuuuum

By the way, how cool is my bracelet? 😎 

#SupportLocal
Fantastic evening with Hindi Niketan Melbourne celebrating Diwali (Festival of Lights). Diwali centres around the celebration of good triumphing over evil and light over dark. A terrific mix of various dance, music and traditional Indian food. I’m a huge fan of spices so was right in my element.
‪Today I joined Sonya Kilkenny MP, Gary Maas MP & Cr Long from the City of Dandenong in a walk against family violence. It was an amazing turnout of solidarity against this scourge on society. We heard an amazing and heartfelt account of the experiences of survivor Susan Berg‬

‪The City of Monash has a proud history of condeming family violence! Plenty of help is available. If you are experiencing domestic violence or know anyone who is, call it out.‬

‪#CallItOut #RespectWomen‬
Works are well underway on our new cycling path from Clayton Station to Monash University via Browns Road in collaboration with VicRoads. It includes a brand new intersection to help cyclists cross Dandenong Road safely. We’re also creating a dedicated cycling route between Scotchman’s Creek and the Uni via Forster and Gardiner Road
Yet another cracking Ashwood Family Fun Day. It wasn’t looking good this morning with rain falling but we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon. Absolutely jammed packed with kids and families enjoying the sunshine

Great to spend the day with Cr Rebecca Paterson and her family. I also ran in to Will Fowles MP who joined me to create a couple of t-shirts in the name of gender equality
Extremely proud to welcome the Cook Island Prime Minister, Henry Puna, to Australia this morning as part of the country’s first ever state visit

The City of Monash has a proud history of supporting our Cook Island community through our grants program. Former Monash Councillor Ngatuaine Hosking was also the first Cook Islander to be elected to any level of Government in Australia

Unfortunately I had to rush off to another event and didn’t get to enjoy this massive feast, but wow!
Stunning weather (finally) and a great day to get things done around the house. Pop down to Bunnings in Notting Hill and grab a snag while you’re here!
What an amazing fete put on by Hughesdale Primary School. Plenty of rides, food and fabulous stage performances. Our kids were absolutely exhausted, as were we!

Hughesdale Primary School Carnival
What a fabulous way to end an extremely busy first week; celebrating the 105th birthday of Pearl, who we believe is our oldest resident. She’s extremely excited as her youngest brother is visiting on Sunday, aged 82. Wow!
Congratulations to Cr Georgina Oxley on her election as Mayor of the City of Kingston tonight. Looking forward to working together, particularly around our boundary in Clayton
First task for the day; buy a new KeepCup to use at Council 😍
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, silence descended over the battle fields

Lest we forget
This afternoon Council hosted a meet your street event in Glen Waverley. The program encourages neighbours to come out and meet each other in a local park. In a world where we’re all too busy, this is a great way for communities to reconnect.

Interested in having one in your area? 

More information available here : https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Our-Organisation/Advocacy/Meet-Your-Street-campaign
Moving Remembrance Day service this morning performed by the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL. Another service will be held tomorrow at the Cenotaph at 10:45am

Lest we forget!
An eye opening day in the City of Monash as four religious centres opened their doors and gave the public an insight in to their religious faiths and observances

We started off with Sankat Mochan Temple Huntingdale followed by the Bangladesh Islamic Centre, St Michaels Coptic Church and the All Nations Presbyterian Church (South Sudanese)

A fantastic initiative organised by the Monash Interfaith Gathering!
It’s Melbourne Cup week. That means it’s also the week of the Hughesdale Art Show. To my wife’s despair I’ve bought another painting, but I just couldn’t help myself. Pop down and check out the works of local artists. It’s open this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm at the Hughesdale Community Centre - corner Poath & Kangaroo Roads
Playground upgrade commitment number 3 has been completed in Melissa Street in Mount Waverley. I still remember people sitting on the fence having a picnic while I was letterboxing as there were no seats. Such a fabulous improvement on what was here previously. Once the trees grow it will be even better!

Playground upgrades to Evelyn Street Clayton and Wilma Avenue Mulgrave to come!
‪Rain couldn’t stop the Oakleigh representatives from all three levels of Government enjoying the annual Glendi Festival at Warrawee Park. It’s on until 8pm tonight and the sun has just appeared. Pop on down‬

With Steve Dimopoulos MP & Clare O'Neil MP
I know it’s a big call, but I think the spicy beef Pho at Pho288 Huntingdale might well be the best I’ve ever had. Sadly they don’t do deliveries but it’s well worth the visit to sample this exquisite home cooking

Pop down and try for yourself let me know what you think!

#Huntingdale #SupportLocal
Most of you will remember Cafe Du Coin from my earlier posts. Well, over Winter the owners have changed and Cafe Spacho has been born. Coffee is absolutely delicious and there’s an entirely new menu to choose from. Now that the weather is warming up, make your way down and welcome Silvana and her family, who are also new to #Oakleigh. They’re on the corner of Dandenong and Atherton Roads.

#SupportLocal
Traffic around Oakleigh Grammar is chaos during school times, often bringing Willesden, Bletchley and Clapham Roads to a standstill. Cars are often double parked causing blockages to local residents

Well, we’re taking measures to ease the pain with new short term parking and kiss & go zones. Construction should be complete shortly
Next on the Sunday brunch list that followers compiled was Black Salt Cafe in Bentleigh East. Yes, ok, it’s marginally outside my ward, but I’m a sucker for beautiful food and great coffee on a Sunday morning; they didn’t disappoint. Pop in and savour the atmosphere!
The annual Monash Community Awards. We have so many amazing volunteers that give up so much of their time to help others and to better our city. It’s always hard to pick an overall winner as everyone was worthy, but this year it was hard to go past Deborah Upstill; more than 20 years volunteering all across our city

Well done to all our worthy recipients

https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Awards-Grants/Sir-John-Monash-Awards/Award-winners-2019
Here’s another playground I committed to upgrading - Melissa Street, Mt Waverley. It’s not far off completion and should be open just in time for Summer barbecues. This is a lovely part of the world with Scotchman’s Creek, the Wetlands, Ink Mind Core and Stanley just a short stroll away
Rotary. You probably know their blue and yellow banner but you probably don’t know all the amazing work they do behind the scenes. Recently the Oakleigh, Huntingdale and Clayton branches banded together for the annual garden charity auction, raising money for cancer

Anne is one the amazing hard working committee members that helped put the event together. Another terrific local community group bettering lives!
Fantastic to meet another 350 odd new citizens at last nights ceremony - our last one for the year. I know I say this every time, but it’s such an incredible honour to share these experiences. It really makes you realise how lucky we are to live in the best country in the world

With Cr Shane McCluskey Matt Fregon MP and Senator Raff Ciccone
What a cracking day to hold the annual Coptic Community festival in Drummond Street Oakleigh. I’m hooked on the beautiful, yet very sweet, Egyptian Doughnuts (Zalabya). Yuuuuum
‪Missed the City of Monash bulletin (and my article) in your letterbox this month? ‬

‪You can view it online here: https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/about-us/news/bulletin/monash-bulletin-september-2019.pdf‬
Another 300 odd citizenships confirmed tonight. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a Fijian family fully dressed in traditional outfits before; how good do they look?

Such an amazing night, as always!
Looking for something to do today? Pop down to the Brentwood Community Youth Club opposite Brandon Park on Ferntree Gully Road and check out the Gem show. An amazing array of precious stones on display and even the chance to do a bit of prospecting
Packed house for the Oakleigh Dragons Junior Football Club Presentation Day. Proud of these amazing new club rooms. Well done to Darcy for taking out the inaugural Oakleigh Gift running race!
Back at an old favourite this morning, Nature Boy Cafe in Murrumbeena. I’m a bit of a sucker for the chicken hoagie - absolutely delicious. And the girls just love the play area!

#SundayBrunch #FamilyTime #SupportLocal
This morning our roving listening posts have landed at the amazing Cabina Playgroup in Chadstone (just down the road from the Oakleigh Pool). This is without a doubt the achievement I’m most proud of in my time on Council; a drop in centre for parents and children to socialise and meet others

Pop down with your kids and join in the fun. We’re here until 12pm
Danny Frawley’s death was an absolute tragedy that touched so many. There are hundreds of thousands of people dealing with the same mental demons in silence. More than 8 people each day are lost to suicide. It’s 8 too many

I’m pleased that as a Council and as a society we are working hard to address mental health issues and remove the stigma. There are so many who need our help. While today is ‘R U OK’ day, that is something we should be asking our friends and loved ones every day of every week, not just once a year

If you or anyone you know needs help, there is plenty available. Reach out - because no-one should ever be alone!
Pleasure to join with Melbourne Kannada Sangha MKS to celebrate Indian Independence Day. Fantastic afternoon out with lots of singing and dancing. The children were just adorable and highlighted what an fantastic community organisation Kannada Sangha are

I must admit that I loved the rendition of “I love my India”. Brilliant!
It may be my OCD, but I can’t help by admire this work of art every time I walk down Atherton Road. It may only be matching some tiles on a pit lid, but I think it speaks volumes for the professionalism of our City of Monash staff.
Demolition is complete on the biggest infrastructure project the City of Monash has ever undertaken. The $25 million dollar redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre will transform the area in to one of the best sporting precincts in the State

The new centre will feature new Basketball Courts and a state of the art gymnastics facility. We’ve already built 8 new tennis courts at Caloola Reserve and planning is underway for a multi-million dollar pavilion to accompany it

The centre is due to open in October, 2020. You can watch a video impression of what we’re building here: https://www.oakleighrecreationcentre.com.au/News/ORC-Redevelopment-Update
The Huntingdale shopping centre is extremely busy with shoppers and university students. For almost three years I’ve been lobbying VicRoads to reduce the speed limit from a ridiculous 60km to a much safer 40km

With some assistance from Steve Dimopoulos MP, we finally managed to get VicRoads to agree to a Victorian first; variable static sign speed limits

Remember, slowing down won’t kill you!
‪This stuff makes me proud 🤗‬

‪“Stefanie from the City of Monash talked to the children about recycling. They practiced identifying which materials go into which bin, learnt a recycling song & were told how recycled items turn into the new things”‬

That was last week. Today, another visit, this time talking about worms and composting 👍

‪#Recycling #Education‬ #ThisIsMonash
Dual personalities!

Dad is my inspiration for everything I do and my three girls are the reason I do what I do.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!
Next on the Sunday brunch list was Grange Junction for Father’s Day. Absolutely delicious food and the decor was phenomenal with lots of historical items, such as this old telephone. There’s even outside tables where dogs are welcome (on a leash of course)

A sensational suggestion. We’ll be back!
Unfortunately it just wasn’t our day, but I’m super proud of Oakleigh District Women's today. Endeavour Hills were undefeated all year and for large parts of the game we had their measure but just couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard. Even though we lost, it was a cracking contest played in perfect Spring weather, even if it was a day early.

We’ll be back bigger and better next year!

Oakleigh District Football Netball Club
‪Oakleigh District Women's Football Club are playing in the Grand Final at Meade Reserve in Clayton. Pop on down and #SupportLocal footy‬

Oakleigh District Football Netball Club
Another 347 people became Australian Citizens last night. It’s always such a special night for these people and their joy is contagious. Congratulations to you all!
Last week I posted asking for suggestions for a Sunday morning brunch cafe. We’ve decided to try them all. First cab off the rank was Aliza's place Cafe in Chadstone. A bit odd having to go to the counter to order, but the food was like a work of art, especially the Nutella pancakes which my wife scoffed down in no time. Plenty of space for the kids too!

#SupportLocal #ThisIsMonash
Another block moonscaped with Council powerless to act. This is why Council voted to introduce tree controls at it’s June meeting. We’re still waiting on the Minister to approve interim controls while we go through a planning scheme amendment process.

Read more here: https://www.monash.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/about-us/council/council-meetings/2019-25-june/1.2-report-council-meeting-25-june-2019.pdf
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